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Grantham Lynx Swimming Club seeks more volunteers

A swimming club that helps disabled children learn a vital life skill is appealing for more volunteers to help it continue.

The Grantham Lynx Swimming Club, based at the Meres Leisure Centre, was established in 1953 by the Rotary Club of Grantham and Sleaford.

Currently, the club is run by five volunteers and the children’s parents, but it is always looking for new volunteers.

The Grantham Lynx Swimming Club runs lessons at the Grantham's Meres Leisure Centre.
The Grantham Lynx Swimming Club runs lessons at the Grantham's Meres Leisure Centre.

“It’s important to keep it going as the children are not going to get the skills from anywhere else,” said organiser Jacqui Auckland.

She added: “It’s been very difficult to get volunteers over the last few years as doing what we do you have to do DBS checks.

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“But doing it, you get something out of it yourself. The children get something in terms of the safety aspect, social aspect and health aspect.

“I see how happy the children are. They get some enjoyment out of it and it’s so important they learn those life skills whatever their disability is.

“Children come to the club and look out for each other. There’s no bias with any of the children and they don’t see any barriers.”

Jacqui has overseen the club since 1988 when Angela Ward, who had run it since 1976, stepped down. Sadly Angela died in February.

While she ran the club, Angela “loved to see the children enjoy themselves,” said Jacqui.

She added: “I knew Angela because she had a daughter a few years younger than me.

“I knew her for over 50 years. She is a part of who we are and was around for a long time.”

Across its 70 years, the club has also seen several location changes.

It originally met at the RAF Cranwell swimming pool, before moving to the King’s School pool and then onto the Meres Leisure Centre.

Jacqui describes the club as a “family orientated environment”.

She added: “It’s a social group as well. Since covid, we now let the parents get involved and the parents can get ideas off each other and support each other. They also need moral guidance.

“We are not a structured swimming group, we do it through play and experimenting.

“It’s more of a physical learning experience and once they can swim, they can go and do what they want.

“It’s a journey of exploration for a child.”

Anyone who would like to volunteer with the club can get in touch via its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GranthamLynx.

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